Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Beautiful Praise, Beautiful Life

"Praise is beautiful, praise is lovely, praise is lifting Jesus up..."
This is the chorus to my favorite worship song right now. It's from Suzy Wills Yaraei's CD entitled "Praise is Beautiful." Part of the reason it is my favorite right now is because it reminds me of what our focus is supposed to be in life, and it caused me to reflect on what beauty is and how we become beautiful, and remain beautiful.

Sometimes I don't feel very beautiful. I've felt like my attitude has stunk. I've been easily irritated by people. I can try to hide it, but I'm sure it comes through in my actions. If someone had looked at my life at those times, I don't think they would have thought of God unless it was in the context "God, help her!" We all go through seasons, times when we forget that our lives are supposed to be lived with God in the center instead of ourselves.

In Psalms it instructs us - "Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises
to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful
." Psalm 147:1
Offering praise can be a sacrifice when we don't feel very beautiful, we don't feel like anything beautiful can come from us. But that's the thing about praise - it's not about who we are, it's about who God is. It's so freeing to realize that, it's so freeing once I begin to praise. Once we begin to praise, that beauty reflects into our lives, it changes us.

If praise is beautiful, then when we live our lives as a praise until the Lord our lives will be beautiful. How do we do that, what constitutes living our lives out as a praise unto the Lord? It's not as simple or one dimensional as it might sound at first. As we live our lives there are so many things involved - emotions, attitudes, actions, reactions, what we allow to come out of our mouths, what we allow into our ears and eyes... the list could go on.

Just as we look into a mirror for our reflection, when we look into God's word and learn His character we can see what our lives and character should look like. Are the things we're doing, looking at, saying, or writing giving praise to God? I'm still working on living a life of praise, but I do know one thing - it is worth the effort!

Living a life of praise brings us peace, it brings us solace in hard times, and it brings us joy. You may think this is crazy, but I smile the most when I'm praising my God. When we praise, the presence of God washes over us and transforms us. There's nothing more wonderful, nothing more beautiful, and the more I can incorporate that into every part of my life the more beautiful my life will be.

My prayer is: Holy Spirit, help me to live my life as a praise, help me to quickly recognize attitudes, mindsets, and actions that are not pleasing. I desire a life that gives praise to my Creator, that causes others to want to know the God of all creation. Thank you Jesus for making a way for me to come into intimate relationship, I don't ever want to take that for granted. May my life be a living praise, a beautiful praise to You. Amen.